The No Profile Pit Blind
I received a call from hunting enthusiast, Brian Corrigan, inviting me to join him for an early morning goose shoot. Since there are few things I enjoy as much as Canada goose hunting, I arranged my schedule to accommodate the offer.
In making the final preparations, I was told I didn’t have to bring my layout blind as we would be hunting from a pit. That was good news. I have hunted out of pits before and have found them to be a very efficient means of concealment.
Darkness still gripped the world as we drove across the bean stubble to the pit. I could see at once that it was a well devised contraption. The sides were lined with tongue and groove and there was sitting room for three or four hunters.
The pit lay east and west which meant the best hunting winds would be from the north or south. Our wind was from the east so Corrigan and I made an adjustment to our spread. Instead of making the normal “U” shaped pattern we did a modified “J” with the birds approaching left to right in front of us.
The first birds of the day slid off to our west and never really gave us a look. However, the single that followed this flock was more than willing. It was a gravy shot.
A short time later, we had a group of a dozen swing through the decoys. The targets weren’t great, but we did manage to pull one bird out of the flock.
And then the wait began. We watched several distant flocks settle into fields but could not get anything else to give us a look. Finally, a fair sized number of birds appeared on the horizon and headed our way.
As is often the case, most of the birds bypassed our setup to look at something else. However, there were five that peeled out to take a closer look. One came right in and we let it land. The other four were less certain about the situation, but once their buddy was on the ground, they didn’t want to be left behind.
It is funny how quickly it can be over. One moment you are four birds short of a limit and the next you are casing your shotgun.
Pit hunting definitely has some advantages over other means of concealment. Pressured birds get wary of the layout blind profile and learn to avoid them. These same birds that want nothing to do with layout blinds will not hesitate to come into a spread when hunters are concealed in a pit.
There are problems associated with pit hunting. The inability to move the pit according to the wind is an issue. Instead, hunters need to vary their spread to accommodate the wind direction.
Pits are not mobile. You can’t pick up a pit and move it to a different field. Nor can you easily convince a land owner to let you dig one. Unless it is someone you know really well, pits will not be allowed.
Occasionally, I have had been able to reduce the layout blind profile by digging a shallow trench for the blind. It doesn’t take much to alter the look and improve your chances. Using very low profile blinds will also help.
Geese get wary after being heavily hunted. They definitely learn what layout blinds are all about and stay away from them. However, pits allow a different approach that can improve late season success.
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